first install of linux

I am preparing to install ubuntu 11 on an older Toshiba laptop. This will be my first experience with Linux. The DVD gives me the option of doing Live CD or an install on the computer. What are the pros and cons of the two options.

There isn't an Ubuntu 11. How

There isn't an Ubuntu 11.

How much RAM memory does the Toshiba have?

ovej001, These are the system

ovej001,

These are the system requirements for Ubuntu from ubuntu's website:

System requirements

Ubuntu is available for PC, 64-Bit and Mac architectures. The Alternate installation CDs require at least 256 MB of RAM (the standard installation CD requires 384MB of RAM). Install requires at least 3 GB of disk space.

The current version is of ubuntu is 9.04. Version 9.10 will be out soon. (Notice how version numbers correspond to release date (2009.04 (April, 2009))

The difference between "Live CD" and "install on computer" is if you choose the Live CD option, which I think is now called "Try Ubuntu without any changes to your computer" It will run Ubuntu entirely from the CD. Nothing will be changed or written to your hard drive. I highly recommend trying the Live CD option first. This will give you a feel for what Ubuntu is like. Please remember that running a computer entirely from a cd will be slower than when it is run from a hard drive so don't judge performance from the live cd

Tip: you can also run the live CD on any computer you are having trouble with to help fix it (grab files off of it ect.)

Unless you have unique requirements you will want the "9.04", "32-bit", "Desktop", and "CD" options for download. Available here:
http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download

Third option

A third option exists. You can use WUBI, if you are running Windows.

First defragment your hard drive.
Second insert the CD into your drive while in Windows.
Third answer the questions and tick the appropriate boxes.
Fourth after the Windows installation, re-boot.
Fifth, Choose Ubuntu in the menu that pops up. The installation will continue for a further ten minutes or so.

When all is done you will have Ubuntu installed inside your C drive without the need to partition.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this method.

Advantages: no partitioning, Windows and data are untouched, it runs at native speed while the Live CD runs slowly, you can make changes and install application which you can't do from the live CD, it can be removed quite easily from your Windows control panel, it can be converted to a full installation that resides on its own partition at a later date

Disadvantages: you need to defragment or it will run slower than it should, you need about 8 GBs of free space on your C: drive plus room for Windows to continue to operate, if you have crashes or hard boot in Windows it could destroy Ubuntu, hibernation does not work.

How it works:

WUBI (Windows Ubuntu Installer) sets up a directory called C:\ubuntu and creates an image file inside. When you re-boot and finish the process the file is mounted as if it was a drive or partition. Ubuntu is then installed inside the image file. It does not need Windows at all to operate and is thus Ubuntu. The file structure inside th eimage is pure Linux, but outside we know that it is on your NTFS windows file system. Very slick.

There is a fourth option as well which is to use Unetbootin to take the ISO and copy it to a usb stick which creates a Live usb stick. Unetbootin is available for Linux or Windows from: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net Unetbootin will download ISO files if you don't already have them. Advantage is that you don't have to burn CDs and can re-use the usb ket. Disadvantage is that you need to a computer that boots from usb (most recent computers do). See also: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

There is no end to the possibilities.

Roy